We got lots of rain in Karachi, and pleasant weather (not so pleasant for those poor souls whose homes got flooded), but after much suspense, Cyclone Phet changed course and the city was saved from disaster, thanks, say many to Abdullah Shah Ghazi, the patron saint of Karachi. Alas, his own mazar was not spared apparently a wall collapsed due to the heavy rains, and 17 people were injured. Couple of tweets:
- "Tum Bijli, Pani Aur Train Ko Rotey Ho Faraz, Iss Mulk Mai To Tufaan Bhi Time Par Nahi Aata" - discomaulvi (You bemoan electricity, water and trains Faraz, but here, even the storms don't come on time)
- "From PHET to PHIZZ. And thank heavens for that. Was getting phet up" Nadeem Farooq Paracha.
Below, links to four of my recent articles
1 CONVERSATIONS: `Meeting point' - Continuation of my email exchange with Indian journalist Dilip D'Souza in The News on Sunday http://bit.ly/dx57ae
2. 'A prayer... of sorts', my article in Viewpoint special issue on the Ahmadi massacre in Lahore, http://www.viewpointonline.net/
Excerpt: ... Where do these people get the guts to operate so brazenly? Perhaps because the administration turns a blind eye to their displaying banners like the one photographed recently on Mall Road outside Lahore High Court that reads: 'Yahudi, Isai, Mirzai Islam ke dushman haiN' (Jews, Christians, Ahmedis, are enemies of Islam).
Then there are the freebee giveaways by banned outfits like Harkatul Ansar like this clock, photographed at a `parchoon' shop in Karachi's Delhi Colony. The hands are a Kalshnikov, four of the five pillars of Islam, Namaz, Zakat, Haj and Roza (prayer, charity, pilgrimage and fasting) mark the quarter hour points. The fifth pillar, Tauheed (belief in the singularity of the Almighty), has been replaced by Jehad (holy war), the word placed right in the centre. Jehad is not one of Islam's five pillars. But of course, no one is going to proceed against them for misrepresenting, some would say defiling, the religion.
Complete article with photos at http://bit.ly/9u0QMW
3. Personal Political for Hardnews India re facebook ban
Excerpt: "What would you do if they banned facebook here?" I asked Zainab, 13, whose parents, old friends from Pakistan, are posted in Delhi. I was here for an Aman ki Asha conference of Indian and Pakistani CEOs and entrepreneurs where high-powered delegates affirmed the need for economic cooperation between the two countries http://bit.ly/a9nKvy
4. Karachiwala: More than just a great coffee table book - My review in Himal Southasian- http://bit.ly/9M7szY
Karachiwala: A Subcontinent within a City
By Rumana Husain; with essays by Arif Hasan, Dr Hamida Khuhro, Luthfullah Khan, S. Akbar Zaidi and Zubeida Mustafa; Pages 330; hardcover fully illustrated with maps, photos, foldout pages
Price: PKR 2900 (USD 35); Published by Jaal, Karachi , 2010
Excerpt from my review: This is not just a book about how the city grew uncontrollably after 1947, with the influx of a million or so refugees seeking economic opportunity as much as refuge. Rather, this is very much the human story of a city that is a microcosm of Pakistan, where locals were long ago outnumbered by migrants or their descendents not just from across the border, but from all over the country. As the author delves into the homes and lives of some 80 of these families, it is apparent that they have retained much of their distinct cultures although, with the younger generations growing up in this `melting pot', borders and boundaries have started to blur. Interestingly, some among the youths have embraced features of their religious identity that their parents had shrugged off. There is, for instance, the young Sikh who proudly sports a turban and beard that his father had cast aside; or the young Bohra woman who, after getting married, prevailed upon her husband and his parents to adopt a more religiously conservative lifestyle, even getting her mother-in-law to shed the sari in favour of the rida, the Bohri burqa...